7 Tips For A Stress Free Gluten-Free Christmas

Hey, everyone! Christmas is just around the corner and I'm super excited! With my gift shopping complete, I am working on a menu for our holiday dinner. If you are worried about hosting a meal for your loved ones, have no fear! I've put together a few tips to help keep you calm and on track. 
Remember to read all labels and when in doubt, go without.


7 Gluten Free Mistakes You Don't Want To Make

7. Assuming You Don't Need a Support Network

Adjusting to the gluten-free diet is a big lifestyle change and it's not easy.Surrounding yourself with people who are supportive is vital. Celiac associations, friends, and family should all be a part of this circle. Just as important is distancing yourself from those who bring you down. You know, the people who get offended that you won't can't eat gluten-containing food.

6. Being in the Dark About what Celiac Disease actually is

Celiac is a life-long autoimmune disorder, so understanding what it's all about is paramount. While you won't become an expert overnight, reading an educational book or two on Celiac will certainly help you out. The more you understand it, the more likely you are to maintain the diet. Knowing what Celiac is all about and sharing that knowledge with those around you is a double win.

5. Overindulging In Gluten-Free Junk Food

Just because it's gluten-free doesn't mean it's magically good for you. Junk food is still junk food and moderation is key. True story. Since we are being honest, eating a healthy gluten-free diet requires some extra work. Why? Well, most gluten-free food is full of sugar and various other substitutes to make up for that missing wheat stuff. This means it's even more important to be aware of what you're eating and not over do it with the junk.

4. Failing to do Your Own Research 

Please don't accept everything you see or hear as fact. Although the interwebs are full of great resources, rumours and inaccurate information lurk everywhere. Myths are abundant and a Facebook meme doesn't come with guaranteed authenticity. Fact-check legitimate resources such as the CCA or NFCA. Also, if there ever is a pill/cure/therapy etc. Those two sites will list it front and centre. Until then, everything is either in research mode or non-existent hocus pocus.

3. Focusing on What You Can't Eat

There is an entire world of "yes" food out there just waiting for you to dig in. Seriously, the gluten-free food department has come a long way. You're going to have to get creative and shop around more, but you will discover great products.You may even learn new kitchen skills in the process. By focusing on what you can enjoy, you will bypass that feeling of missing out.

2. Not Creating a Celiac Safe Area in Your Kitchen

This is a big deal. Without a safe zone to prepare your gluten-free food, cross contamination is just hanging around, waiting to happen. It's important to keep your food clearly labelled "gluten-free" and away from any non-safe items. Designate the top two shelves in the fridge for gluten-free only. Also, pick a cupboard to house all of your gluten-free pantry items. You can and should keep a separate cutting board, strainer and dish sponge in a special non-gluten zone.

1. Forgetting To Be Your Own Advocate

I can't stress how important it is to look out for number one - that's you!
Not everyone has an in-depth understanding of Celiac Disease, so speak up, be firm and when in doubt go without.


My Gluten Free Bucket List

1. Master the art of Gluten-Free baking. Seriously, I need help.

2. Visit Feast in Toronto. I've known about this gem for some time now and I really need to get there!   *Visited July 2015

3. Read:

  • Gluten Freedom by Alessio Fasano, MD 
  • The Gluten-Free Revolution by Jax Peters Lowell
  • Mayo Clinic Going Gluten Free: Essential Guide to Managing Celiac Disease and Related Conditions by Joseph A. Murray

4. Take another Walt Disney World resort vacation, aka Gluten-Free paradise

5. Add final touches to the Gluten Free Doll website and officially launch it

6. Attend a Gluten-Free expo/conference

7. Cross-border shop for Gluten-Free goods which are not available in Canada

8. Encourage Rogers Centre to host a Celiac Awareness night

9. Help rid Celiac of the fad stigma

10. Find a delicious Gluten-Free croissant and eat it

Do YOU Have Any Gluten Free Pet Peeves?

10 The use of the word Celiacs. Celiac is derived from the Greek word koiliakos, which means abdominal. Not trying to be the word police, but hey lets get the name of our lifelong special feature right ;)

9 Crazy people who think that I should only eat 100% healthy because I am Gluten Free. Don't try to unjunk my GF junk food and I promise that I will only eat it in moderation, along with my fruits and veggies.

8 The assumption that GF is healthy for EVERYONE. *bangs head on desk*

7 When people say that they wish that they had my willpower so that they could lose weight. *Facepalm*

6 Restaurants with GF options but no formal training on how to keep them that way

5 The smart ass who decided that everything Gluten Free shall be the same price as a brick of gold

4 People who get bent out of shape at the mention of, or hope for a Celiac Disease cure.There is always a risk for product recalls due to mislabelling or CC. I would rather at least be able to take something to prevent serious damage after a mishap than not.

3 Diet and Gluten Free in the same sentence. So very, very wrong and misleading. Ever hear of anyone on the Nut Free Diet or taking up a Shellfish Free Lifestyle? Nope.

2 People who only discuss Gluten Free in the media to make money off of a book or product which they are selling. These people also never advocate for Celiac Awareness. I'm looking at you Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Gwyneth Paltrow.

1 When someone says that they are supposed to eat Gluten Free due to Celiac or an intolerance, then openly admit that they do not stick to the regime 100%. You are part of the problem, not the solution. Buck up or shut up.


12 Things You Should Never Say To A Celiac

When Someone Suggests That A Crumb Won't Hurt

If that was the case, do you really think I would be so cautious? To put things in perspective for you, one crumb can and will make me ill. One crumb makes me a difficult person to be around and shortens my lifespan. Chew on that.

When Someone Asks If Gluten-free Helped You Lose Weight

No! I actually gained weight. It's called being healthy. Any carb overindulging person will see a drop in weight if they instantly cut it out of their diet. That being said, there are actually carbs in Gluten Free food. Yep. Bet ya didn't know that, like ya didn't know that some people have no choice but to eat Gluten Free.

Every Time Someone Asks Me What I Can Eat

 I can eat a lot of the same things you eat. Not everything is off limits. I just have to be cautious of ingredients and make changes to adapt recipes. Time-consuming yes, but extra time and effort trumps being sick.

When Someone Says They Tried Gluten-free for a while

You "tried" it? Must be nice to have that option! I do it because I have to. Unlike you, there is no choice for me. Being Gluten Free is what allows me to live. I don't understand why anyone would want to be GF by choice! Not only is it a difficult road to navigate but it is expensive. I would not buy it if I didn't have to, even if it was on sale kind of expensive.

When Someone Mentions The Increased Food Cost

Yes, gluten-free can be expensive. A lot of companies take advantage and price gouge. It blows my mind that people will choose to pay inflated prices for food they are not restricted to. 

 I prepare chef quality meals without said expensive flour

 Not everyone lives in an area with massive Gluten Free variety. Nor does everyone have the luxury of being an exceptional chef. Most of us are average folk, given the task of creating satisfying Gluten Free meals. 

When The Server Says The Oven Will Kill Off Any Gluten

NBC / Via

Am I being punked? Seriously, who started this rumor?

When People Call Me Picky

I am NOT a picky eater. Unfortunately, when one has a dietary restriction, eating can become mundane. Like anyone else, I enjoy variety in my diet as well as flavor. I can't always afford to purchase  different and exciting gf food. Nor do I always have the time or energy to make something from scratch. I have a right to become irritated with my food options from time to time.

When Someone Tells Me Gluten-free Is A Fad For Money
This actually has a little bit of truth to it. Sometimes it feels like a Gluten Free label is just an easy excuse to charge more money.For those of us who NEED a gf diet, the high cost is an unfortunate side effect of this mandatory lifestyle.

The Suggestion That VeryFew People Have Celiac Disease
That is a very archaic thought. 1 in 133 people have Celiac Disease. More people suffer from Celiac than Alzheimer's Disease. 

When Someone Complains About The Cost Of Vegan/Vegetarian/Organic Food

Being Vegetarian is a choice. A choice you are allowed and able to make. I don't have any choice when it comes to eating Gluten free. My wallet sure wishes I had a choice, though.

When People Admire My Apparent Willpower
No, it's not willpower at all. Gluten is toxic to my health, therefore, I avoid it. Period.

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Seven Things On A Sunday Evening

1) Summer is almost over. Who hit the fast forward button?

2) My vegetable's will soon be ready to harvest from my garden

3) Soon it will be time to research safe Gluten Free treats for Halloween

4) It looks like it is going to rain, but I wouldn't be surprised if the storm misses us.....Again

5) I bought my first loaf of Udi's Gluten Free bread yesterday. I am excited to try it!

6) This weekend was full of much needed fun

7) Celiac Disease NEED'S a superhero. A voice with the power to educate and create awareness.


10 Things On A Thursday

Some staples in my Gluten Free pantry
In no particular order....

  1. All Purpose Gluten Free Flour
  2. Tapioca Flour
  3. Corn Starch
  4. Quinoa Flakes
  5. Milled Flaxseed
  6. Bread Mix
  7. Muffin Mix
  8. Bob's Red Mill Hot Cereal (GF)
  9. Cooking Oil/Spray
  10. Pancake Mix

5 Things I miss

Here are five things I would love to successfully make or find GF in a store 

  1. Pita Bread
  2. Onion Rings
  3. Churros
  4. Wraps that don't break when rolled
  5. Pop Tarts!

It may seem like a rather eclectic list but it's what I miss. The simplicity and ease of a nice pita sandwich or wrap is really something I yearn for. The only time I have ever had a churro was at Walt Disney World as a kid. It was truly a taste to behold.  As for the onion rings and pop tarts ....why not ;)


102 Reasons You Know Your A Celiac (Sometimes we just need a laugh)

You Know your a Celiac ....

1. If you don't remember what dinner rolls are supposed to taste like.
2. If you bring "special" beer to the party, and don't share.
3. If you actually have nightmares about reading labels.
4. If you compare all of your food to "normal-people-food."
5. If you call all your relatives when you get sick. It MUST be because something you ate has been cross-contaminated.
6. If you cry when you discover a new way to make gluten-free bread.
7. If you know that Xantham Gum is not for chewing.
8. If you don't lick stamps.
9. If you a part of you dies every time your toddler puts his plate full of wheat crumbs in the cleaned dish rack
10. If people are afraid to cook for you
11. If you sit on the phone with a pharmacy for an hour to find out what type of starch they use just so that you can take a generic Tylenol and be-rid of your headache.
12. If you know that spelt is a distant cousin of wheat, but buckwheat is not related to wheat at all.
13. If the construction workers working on the house next door to you can EASILY substitute your bread for one of their bricks.
14. If your grandmother INSISTS that you don't have Celiac Disease, you're just “suffering from malabsorption”
15. If you burst into tears of relief at the sight of the words "gluten free" stamped on the corner of the Nestle hot cocoa mix.
16. If people at summer camps roll their eyes and tell you to "stop annoying the waiters with your stupid low-carb diet because you're skinny enough already"
17. If you actually KNOW what an anti-TTG and an IGA blood test are.
18. If you forget to buy bun, rolls, bread, ect. at the store for all the gluten eaters of you family.
19. If people have invited you to "The Olive Garden" on April 1st.
20. If you have accepted their invitation and as pay back you bake them brownies
21. If you sold your house to buy groceries
22. If you sold your first child to buy groceries
23. If you can find "hidden gluten" in food labels in the blink of an eye
24. If your family couldn't find them if they had a magnifying glass, dictionary, and Ph.D.
25. If you've actually suggested cardboard for dinner.
26. If you've actually eaten cardboard for dinner.
27. If you wept the first time you tried to make gluten free sugar cookies
28. If you accept that fact that cardboard probably taste better than gluten free sugar cookies anyway.
29. If you have ever made a list of everything you would eat if a magic genie could cure you.
30. If you keep this list with you at all times just incase you should come across a magical genie.
31. If you have searched for a magical genie.
32. If you now have a large collection of old lamps.
33. If you get a medical exemption out of cooking class
34. If you've been caught licking a discarded Twinkie wrapper.
35. If at Christmas, visions of guar gum dance in your head.
36. If you've had to give a doctor a crash course in Celiac 101.
37. If you weep at picnics, parties, receptions and fast food joints.
38. If you weep at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
39. If you've "brown bagged it" to an elegant dinner engagement.
40. If a 7 Course Meal is a 1 Course Meal for you. Lettuce.
41. If you've installed floor-to-ceiling bookcases in your bathroom.
42. If you've ever driven more than 40 miles to buy flour or a cookie.
43. If it takes you hours to grocery shop and your eyesight is ruined.
44. If you hyperventilate when passing by the bakery counter.
45. If you've ever deliberately rammed your cart into a Shredded Wheat
display in a fit of rage.
46. If you've ever had to take out a loan to pay the grocery bill.
47. If you'd gladly pay any price for a pretzel that doesn't taste like
sawdust, or bread that doesn't taste like an old shoe.
48. If the centerpiece on your dining room table is a bread machine with memorial candles.
49. If your bread looks like a moon rock and tastes like dried out Play-Doh.
50. If your bread weighs more than any moon rock could possibly weigh.
51. If one of your primary goals in life is to create "Fake Oreo Cookies".
52. If you've disinherited loved ones for putting their knife in your mayo.
53. If you've brought a suitcase full of food with you on a cruise.
54. If you pace and circle the store three or four times when deciding on a new product, pick it up look at the ingredients, each time. Only to leave without it, figuring why bother.
55. If your family thinks you're crazy for not tasting their new chocolate chip cookie recipe, because surely a little nibble couldn't hurt right?
56. If your financial portfolio consists of stock in two major toilet paper companies.
57. If you know that Play-Doh is NOT gluten free
58. If you can spell transglutaminase and dermatitis herpetiformis.
59. If you just discovered how to make flour out of turnips.
60. If you show up at the annual church pancake breakfast with a mask and sardine lettuce rollups
61. If having solid poop is the highlight of your day.
62. If you have actually doodled a new cartoon dog on your notes named "Sprue"
63. If you have a sign in your kitchen saying "Gluten free environment"
64. If you have actually considered using a gluten-free bagel for a hockey puck
65. If you have to buy extra memory for your Treo to be able to carry all your gluten-free food and restaurant suggestions
66. If you've mastered saying "I actually enjoy MY food" without your face twitching
67. If you know all about xanthan gum and its uses.
68. If you have ever dreamt about Wonder Bread.
69. If you hide gluten-free brownies when guests come over, so they don't eat them.
70. If you read the ingredient label on green tea - plain green tea.
71. If you know exactly when Post added barley flavoring back to the Fruity Pebbles and you're ticked.
72. If you pay relatives back east exorbitant shipping rates to send you a $12 six pack of Gluten-free beer.
73. If you cried when you saw your usually careful husband brushing the crumbs off his hands (from making a gluten-containing sandwich) RIGHT OVER the open utensil drawer
74. If you talk about your disease (not the unpleasant parts) so much to your friends and acquaintances that your husband tells you you need to get another hobby
75. If you take a list of safe drinks to the bar with you. And actually consult it before you order a drink.
76. If you see someone buying rice flour in Bulk Barn and you just have to ask them if they are gluten intolerant too!
78. If it drives you crazy when someone says they completely understand your diet, they did Atkins.
79. If people roll their eyes at you when you say "no thank you" to someone's gluten filled dessert
80. If you've refused things as "simple" as gum or sucking candies because you don't know if they're safe.
81. If you talk about endoscopy's and colonoscopy's like these are normal everyday occurences that everyone gets nearly every year.

82.If you find yourself reading more food labels than emails
83.If you've ever driven more than 40 miles to buy flour or a cookie
84.If it takes you 4 hours to grocery shop and your eyesight is
ruined.85.If you'd gladly pay any price for a pretzel that doesn't taste like
sawdust, or bread that doesn't taste like an old shoe.86.If your family thinks you're crazy for not tasting their new chocolate chocolate chip cookie recipe, because surely a little nibble couldn't hurt right?
87.If  you don't understand why gluten free food costs more but is half the size or regular food.
88.If it drives you crazy when someone says they completely understand your diet, they did Atkins.
89.If people roll their eyes at you when you say "no thank you" to someone's gluten filled dessert
90 If you see someone buying rice flour in the bulk section and you just have to ask them if they are gluten intolerant too!
91.Ifyou've ever deliberately rammed your cart into a Shredded Wheat
display in a fit of rage.92.If you read the ingredient label on green tea - plain green tea.
93.If Your friend invites you over for your birthday and want to make you a gluten free birthday cake but you plead with them not to, because although you're trying to seem like you don't want to put them through the hassle, you're secretly terrified there will be cross contamination.
94.If your 'favorites' sites are mostly celiac sites;
95.If you go to a potluck at a friends place and your dish is gluten-free. You dive into it first so that you get something to eat before others contaminate it.
96.If you have actually considered using a gluten-free bagel for a hockey puck
97.If you long to look at the contents of other people's fridges and pantries just to see what normal people eat.
100.If you hyperventilate when passing by the bakery counter.
101.If you have a sign in your kitchen saying "Gluten free environment"
102.If you cried when you saw your usually careful spouse brushing the crumbs off his hands (from making a gluten-containing sandwich) RIGHT OVER the open utensil drawer


This policy is valid from 23 February 2013

This is a personal blog written and edited by me. All opinions are that of my own. I am not a healthcare professional or an expert. All information presented in this blog is purely that of my own experience and or opinion. Please consult a medical professional before making any changes to your diet.

I write this blog as a hobby that I am passionate about. From time to time, I may receive monetary compensation for a sponsored post. I only work with brands that I trust and would use in my own home.

This blog accepts complimentary products for review. The opinions I have of a product will never be swayed by a company sending me an item(s) for free. I take into consideration the opinion of family members who are gluten-free due to Celiac Disease and I also value the opinions of non-gluten free family members. Taste is a matter of personal opinion so please use your own discretion and don't take my opinion as a gold standard.

Any ingredient or gluten-free claims should be verified with the restaurant/manufacturer as things can and do change.

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